Does Participatory Journalism Contribute to the Decline or the Solution of Traditional News Media?

Citizen journalism is more possible now than ever before. People want to be able to report on events they hear about or personally come across. With phones on hand people can produce content and expose it to the public’s eye via the web in an instant. Multiple people can chime in on a situation and with all the participation, there are many perspectives. The more people contribute to crowd-sourced reporting, the smarter the entry gets.

The contribution that citizen journalism makes is that it can get more people interested in the news. It could contribute to the decline of traditional news media because the more popular topics of participatory journalism are less important than the topics of mainstream media.

When one does an online search, there is a myriad of answers, but sorting through page after page of results can be tiresome. Web journalists help by sorting through articles, blog posts and RSS feeds because they want to find the interesting things to share with others. Writers and editors are expected to interact with the audience online and when it comes to citizen journalism this is being done on social media and blog comments.

How does participatory journalism affect the future of journalism?

  • It will be delivered via mobile devices.
  • It will be more immediate with social media. People will share stories within there context and others will give their responses quickly.
  • It will be specific to ones interests and/or location (hyperlocal).
  • It will be rich in media, particularly visual.
  • It will be hyperlinked, cross-linked and meshed.
  • People will participate and collaborate more.
  • It will not always be perfect, but it will be more like a work in progress that is in process and always in play.
  • Reputation, independence, integrity and trust will matter even more.
  • It will be a conversation rather than a lecture because of a participating audience.
CNN has a site devoted to user-generated content and news coverage (iReport.com) so that they maintain professionalism on there site. Also see the Institute for Interactive Journalism.

How has the mobile web changed and shaped citizen Journalism?

“The Pew Internet & American Life Project found in March 2008 that 62 percent of American adults have either accessed the Internet wirelessly or used non-voice data applications, such as texting, emailing, taking a picture, or recording video with a handheld.” (Writing for Digital Media, Brian Carroll, 183)

How is Twitter being used by News Organizations?

“Limiting blog posts to 140 characters, twitter rewards a tight writing style and a sense of immediacy, both of which are qualities of good online journalism.” (Writing for Digital Media, Brian Carroll, 186)
Services that deliver “tweets” to users’ phones include iTweet.net, PocketTweets.com and Hahlo.com.
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